April 20, 2021
The Beginner’s Guide to a Solo Safari

There are lots of advantages to solo travel; the freedom to decide when and where to go; experiencing new activities; meeting like-minded travellers; making friends along the way. Many safari destinations are ideal for solo travellers, with group excursions and activities suitable for individuals to join such as game drives and walking safaris while safari lodges and camps are ideal for socialising and meeting others. However, travelling on your own might also sound daunting, so to make a solo trip successful and enjoyable, do some research and select a safari that’s most suitable for you. Here are a few practical solo travelling tips to help you get started.

Solo Travelling – Tips

  • For a seamless experience, ensure that all your travel arrangements including transportation, accommodation, meals and transfers are all planned out as far as possible in advance.
  • Before you finalise a safari lodge, check if they have a ‘single supplement’ policy or not. With a single supplement, a solo traveller has to pay additional charges, as the room was meant to be shared by two people. Thus, to save money, you should look for lodges that don’t charge a single supplement.
  • Arrange comprehensive travel insurance that covers unforeseeable events such as personal liability, emergency medical situations, cancellations, missed departures, missed personal belongings or natural disasters, to give you peace of mind while on safari.
  • Safaris are generally very sociable: many safari lodges have communal areas (dining room, lounge, bar, deck, around the campfire) where guests mix and enjoy exchanging safari stories – the perfect opportunity to meet others, often people from all over the world.
  • On your solo travel, you might be grouped with other travellers for game drives and activities. Choose to join smaller groups as it’s easier to interact, and fewer numbers in the group helps create a comfortable and friendly environment.
  • Your safety is in your own hands. Avoid walking alone at night; avoid locations that aren’t easily accessible; don’t go hiking in isolated areas. Be smart, follow safety protocols and find out all you can about the destination before you visit it. Here are some Travel Safety resources:
  1. Travel Safety Tips for Botswana
  2. Travel Safety Tips For Kenya
  3. Travel Safety Tips for South Africa
  4. Travel Safety Tips for Tanzania
  • Pack light and remember the must-have items for your safari. Don’t wear flashy clothes or jewellery that will garner unwanted attention. Capture every moment that you want to relive, fill your travel diary and/or camera/phone with photographs of unparalleled beauty and magnificent animals to show everyone when you get home.
  • Solo travellers often prefer solitude. If you are one of them, consider visiting the safari destination during the low season when the place is less crowded. It’s also a less expensive time of the year which can be very beneficial for those travelling alone.

Solo Travelling – Safari Activities

  • Horseback Riding/Riding Safaris: Destinations such as Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania offer solo travellers the opportunity to experience horseback riding safaris into the wild, a fantastic opportunity to get up close to wildlife. Experienced riders can help you navigate incredible locations such as Botswana’s lush Selinda Reserve and Makgadikgadi’s open desert landscapes.
  • Mokoro Excursions: A unique way to take in the stunning views of destinations such as Botswana’s Okavango Delta, these narrow canoes take travellers on a slow cruise through serene waterways. Traditionally, locals used mokoros to navigate the Okavango Delta’s waterways while today, they have turned into a pleasurable activity for safari travellers.
  • Walking Safaris: Solo travellers can join a walking safari with a group of others and enjoy a wonderful one-of-a-kind bush experience with like-minded safari-goers.
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari/Scenic Flight: For an incredible bird’s eye view of the bush below, join a hot air balloon safari or scenic flight for the ultimate thrill and panoramic view of wildlife and landscapes.

Perks of Solo Travel

  • The freedom to enjoy the safari experience to the fullest without any distractions and at your own pace.
  • Many safari activities are ideal for solos to join others and enjoy the experience with like-minded travellers and make friends along the way.
  • Travelling on your own can be a really confidence-boosting and joyous experience that will make you feel empowered.
  • On safari there will be lots of opportunities to communicate and bond with new people as much or as little as you want. The safari environment is friendly and for those who don’t usually want to socialise very much, it might be the ideal time to perhaps step out of their comfort zone.

About author

MD and Co-Founder. Born in Zimbabwe, Robin has a long history in Africa, and safaris in general, from running lodges to marketing. He is always on the look out for new ideas and products from around the safari world.

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